Ælfric の説教集の第3弾とされる The Lives of the Saints は，998年までに書かれたとされる．そのなかから Life of King Oswald の冒頭部分をサンプル・テキストとして取り上げよう．King Oswald は633--641年にノーサンブリアを治めた王で，その子孫とともに十字架を篤く崇拝した者として知られている．ルーン文字の刻まれたノーサンブリアの有名な Ruthwell Cross も，そのような十字架崇拝の伝統の所産だろう．
Ælfric の説教集は多くの写本で現存しているが，以下の Smith 版テキストは，MS London, British Library Cotton Julius E.vii のものである．現代英語訳も付けて示す (Smith 132--33) ．
Æfter ðan ðe Augustīnus tō Engla lande becōm, wæs sum æðele cyning, Oswold gehāten, on Norðhumbra lande, gelȳfed swyþe on God. Sē fērde on his iugoðe fram his frēondum and māgum tō Scotlande on sǣ, and þǣr sōna wearð gefullod, and his gefēran samod þe mid him sīðedon. Betwux þām wearð ofslagen Eadwine his ēam, Norðhumbra cynincg, on Crīst gelȳfed, fram Brytta cyninge, Ceadwalla gecīged, and twēgen his æftergengan binnan twām gēarum; and se Ceadwalla slōh and tō sceame tūcode þā Norðhumbran lēode æfter heora hlāfordes fylle, oð þæt Oswold se ēadiga his yfelnysse ādwǣscte. Oswold him cōm tō, and him cēnlīce wið feaht mid lȳtlum werode, ac his gelēafa hine getrymde, and Crīst gefylste tō his fēonda slege. Oswold þā ærǣrde āne rōde sōna Gode tō wurðmynte, ǣr þan þe hē tō ðām gewinne cōme, and clypode tō his gefērum:`Uton feallan tō ðǣre rōde, and þone Ælmihtigan biddan þæt hē ūs āhredde wið þone mōdigan fēond þe ūs āfyllan wile. God sylf wāt geare þæt wē winnað rihtlīce wið þysne rēðan cyning tō āhreddenne ūre lēode.' Hī fēollon þā ealle mid Oswolde cyninge on gebedum; and syþþan on ǣrne mergen ēodon tō þām gefeohte, and gewunnon þǣr sige, swā swā se Eallwealdend heom ūðe for Oswoldes gelēafan; and ālēdon heora fȳnd, þone mōdigan Cedwallan mid his micclan werode, þe wēnde þaet him ne mihte nān werod wiðstandan.
After Augustine came to England, there was a certain noble king, called Oswald, in the land of the Northumbrians, who believed very much in God. He travelled in his youth from his friends and kinsmen to Dalriada ("Scotland in sea"), and there at once was baptised, and his companions also who travelled with him. meanwhile his uncle Edwin, king of the Northumbrians, who believed in Christ, was slain by the king of the Britons, named Ceadwalla, as were two of his successors within two years; and that Ceadwalla slew and humiliated the Northumbrian people after the death of their lord, until Oswald the blessed put an end to his evil-doing. Oswald came to him, and fought with him boldly with a small troop, but his faith strengthened him, and Christ assisted in the slaying of his enemies. Oswald then immediately raised up a cross in honour of God, before he came to the battle, and called to his companions: "Let us kneel to the cross, and pray to the Almighty that he rid us from the proud enemy who wishes to destroy us. God himself knows well that we strive rightly against this cruel king in order to redeem our people." They then all knelt with King Oswald in prayers; and then early on the morrow they went to the fight, and gained victory there, just as the All-powerful granted them because of Oswald's faith; and they laid low their enemies, the proud Ceadwalla with his great troop, who believed that no troop could withstand him.
・ Smith, Jeremy J. Old English: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge: CUP, 2009.
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